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Finding Nemo

I have to “agree with Srijith”:http://www.srijith.net/trinetre/archives/2003/06/22/index.shtml#000272 when he says “Finding Nemo”:http://findingnemo.com is a great movie. It is brilliant, witty and has the great Pixar animation and a good story that kept me engrossed all through. It also has very memorable characters, the turtles riding the EAC are my favs (so are the seagulls in Australia, who keep saying “Mate”, the school of fish which gives directions, Dory, Nigel) Also the film does not have Keanu Reeves.

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Book Review: The Lexus And The Olive Tree

If you want to understand the post-Cold War world, you have to start by understanding the new system that has succeeded it — globalization. That is the premise of the book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385499345/jksobservat-20/102-6833280-6166532 by the New York Times foregin affairs columnist “Thomas L. Friedman”:http://www.nytimes.com/top/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/thomaslfriedman/index.html.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One, “Seeing the System” explains the system of globalization and how much it differs from the system that preceeded it—Cold War. He explains that the driving force behind globalization is free market capitalism. The more you open your economy to market forces, free trade and competition, the more efficient and flourishing your economy will be. He mentions three important forces that are reposnsible for creating and sustaining globalization, which are, the “democratization of technology, information and finance”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000117.html. To be successful in this economy, you have to decentralize and give more responsibilities to people so that they can react faster to changes.

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Reading Update

“niraj”:http://www.nirajweb.net/mt/niraj/archives/001584.html has posted an update on what he is reading these days. So here is my list.

The book I am reading now is “Lexus and the Olive Tree”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385499345/jksobservat-20/102-6833280-6166532 by Thomas L. Friedman. According to Friedman, Globalization is now the dominant system that is controlling nations and companies.

The next book in line is “Eminent Historians”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/8172233558/jksobservat-20 by Arun Shourie. This book is an expose on various historians who wrote the history books we learned in school.

While I was in India, I read “Chasing the monsoon”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805020527/jksobservat-20 by Alexander Frater and “Ignited Minds”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0143029827/jksobservat-20 by APJ Abdul Kalam. I will post the book reviews soon.

Besides this I have to read “seven titles of the Asterix collection”:http://shopping.rediff.com/shopping/books/asterix.htm. This blog never got into Harry Potter, even after two attempts. So it will be sitting out through the current Phoenix frenzy.

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Book Review: Pakistan

First I have to tell what this book, “Pakistan:In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0374228949/jksobservat-20 is not about. It is not a history of Pakistan, nor does it attempt to tell it anywhere. It does not talk about the partition or the origin of Pakistan. These are all very casually mentioned.

In the introduction the author says “This book grew out of my own personal journey through Pakistan and my curiosity about the paradocical forces that shape the Pakistani life”. This book is a part travelogue, part biography, part I-was-there-when-it-happened, kind of book. This is a collection of seven articles written by the author based on her travel in Pakistan and the angle of the book mentioned in the subtitle “In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan”.

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Book Review: Gem in the Lotus

“This book by Abraham Eraly”:http://penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?ID=2951 starts from pre-historic times (when India was attached to Africa) to the end of the Mauryan Empire till the reign of the Asoka (made famous by a really bad movie by Santosh Sivan). In the process Eraly covers the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic Culture, the rise of philosophical thought in the Upanishads, and then the rise of Jainism, Buddhism, finally resulting in Appendix A.

Eraly has taken lot of effort to give us a real feeling of life of normal people during various periods of time. So you have an idea of the food and housing of people during Vedic Times to how things were for a Buddhist Monk living in the Sangha.

This book is an easy reading. Each chapter is divided into small sections each covering a concept. For example, one of the sections talks about about various practices in the society. It seems in the Vedic period people slept with whomever they liked. Even women had this freedom. During the marriage ceremony, the priest would ask the woman to name her lovers or atleast indicate the number. Once she confessed it was no longer a sin.

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